Grief counseling is designed to help patients work through the stages of grief by participating in individual or group counseling sessions. The major goals of grief counseling are summarized below.
- Helping the patient to accept the event (e.g., cancer diagnosis) by helping him or her to talk about the event.
- Helping the patient to identify and express feelings related to the event (including anger, guilt, anxiety, helplessness, and sadness).
- Helping the patient to live with the event and to continue making decisions and function in daily life.
- Identifying and providing support at times that may be particularly stressful for the patient such as holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.
- Educating the patient about the normal grieving process.
- Helping the patient to understand his or her methods of coping.
- Identifying coping problems the patient may experience and making recommendations for professional grief therapy if needed.
More Answers from Nimesh Nagarsheth, MD